Is LG launching a new V30 variant at MWC 2018? (Update: LG official confirms)

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Update (01/31): LG’s PR machine has been sending mixed messages ever since the company announced it was dialing back its release schedule. Despite the confusion surrounding the LG G7’s status (Is it delayed? Is it being redesigned? Is it still called the LG G7?), an LG official has now confirmed that the LG V30 variant rumored for launch at MWC 2018 is definitely happening.

Talking to reporters at an Innofest event in Cape Town (thanks, GearBurn), managing director for LG Electronics South Africa, CY Kim, said: “We will introduce at MWC for V30… upgraded version (sic).” Kim also apparently said that the G7 would be a “little bit late”, which is about as non-committal as it gets.

Original story (01/19): LG has certainly picked an interesting time to undergo a transitional period. With ailing sales and losses spiralling into the hundreds of millions, the South Korean OEM recently revealed that it is throwing out its strict annual release schedule for a leaner, variant-heavy approach.

While that in itself is a notable move for one of Android’s most recognizable names, recent reports have suggested that the upcoming ‘LG G7’, which was expected to launch at Mobile World Congress 2018, will not only be rebranded, but also effectively redesigned from scratch and pushed back to April at the earliest.

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Both the LG G6 and G5 were announced around the Barcelona show in 2017 and 2016, respectively, but it seems incredibly likely that MWC 2018 will come and go without any sign of the next G-series phone, or its successor.

According to a new report from the Korea Herald, LG will be debuting a new Android smartphone during the February show, though.

The new device is reportedly a variant of LG’s most recent flagship, the LG V30, called the “V30+‘α’” and will come with enhanced AI features. As a result of LG’s close partnership with Google, the report notes that these (admittedly vague) AI features are likely centered around Google Assistant.

LG will certainly be one to watch at MWC 2018, if only to see where it goes next

Those with a good memory for designations will remember that we’ve seen LG use “α” or “Alpha” in the past, namely with the lower-end member of the LG Q6 series unveiled last July.

Will the V30α be a more affordable version of LG’s flagship phablet? It would certainly make sense in light of LG CEO Jo Seong-jin’s recent comments at CES 2018 about maintaining existing models over a longer period of time.

It’s worth taking all of this with a pinch of salt as there’s very little concrete information regarding LG’s plans for MWC 2018. Regardless, the company will certainly be one to watch at MWC, if only to see where it goes next during a period of such uncertainty.

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